So I feel like there were points leading up to this race where I feared it would be my first DNF (did not finish). My training was either non existent (ie weekend in Memphis) or poor. I struggled to get through my long runs and my heart just wasn’t in it. Yet when I woke up this morning, I was ready for whatever the day threw my way. It certainly helped that my my parents met me at my house so we could drive together to the race. The BOY, who is still sick, got to sleep in.
What made this well-organized race so fun was the ease of getting there, the lack of crazy crowds, and the laid back vibe. It’s actually at the same location where I ran the Hot Cider Hustle last fall. Even better…the weather was PERFECT for a run!
I easily found my friend and was looking forward to catching up again. We’ve done a bunch of bike rides and runs together this year, including the Soldier Field 10 Miler. About 5 minutes before the start of the race, we found our way to the start line. I didn’t have a set plan, which is so not like me, but figured I would find a steady pace and do the best I could.
I was so disorganized that I almost didn’t start my watch at the start. The course weaves through a beautiful forest preserve. My friend and I found an easy pace of running and conversation. I was surprised at how good I was feeling as I trudged along. I barely looked at my watch so I had no idea what my pace was but I still felt decent as we passed the 9:10 pace group with about 3 miles to go. In the end, I even found a little kick as we raced to the finish line where my parents were waiting with cameras finishing just under 2 hours.
Although I didn’t train to PR this race, I also didn’t want it to be my slowest race ever. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to maintain a 9:05 pace and finish feeling pretty darn good.
The reward was lunch at Naf Naf. The BOY’s choice but since he couldn’t join us we sent pictures!
I spent the rest of my afternoon walking around the mall with my mom, which was probably great for my legs and sipping on Starbucks chai tea. Now I am planted on the couch watching the Bears game and beginning to feel all of my muscles talk to me. Thankfully, I have a well timed massage scheduled tomorrow!